Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Updated: August 25, 1:46 PM ET
2010 Worlds: Team USA roster rundown
By Chris Sheridan
ATHENS -- It has been a long, long time since the United States men's basketball team won the World Championship, so long, in fact, that Kevin Durant was a 5-year-old when it last happened in 1994.
The Americans finished third in Athens in 1998, when an NBA lockout forced USA Basketball to send a team of non-NBA players; sixth in Indianapolis in 2002, when Team USA lost for the first (and second and third) time when fielding a squad of professional players,; and third in Japan in 2006, when the team's inability to defend the pick-and-roll against Greece led to a stunning semifinal loss despite a roster loaded with superior talent (LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh, Joe Johnson) than the current team possesses.
Americans tend to look at the Olympics as the end-all, be-all of international competitions, but the rest of the world views the FIBA World Championship as a more prestigious event -- akin to soccer's World Cup.
Team USA is competing this year without a single member of the so-called Redeem Team that won the gold medal at the 2008 Olympics, but other strong teams are missing prominent players, too (Spain is without Pau Gasol and Jose Calderon; Argentina does not have Manu Ginobili; Germany is without Dirk Nowitzki, and Greece does not have the services of wily veteran Theo Papaloukas, the star of the Greeks' upset victory over the Americans in the 2006 World Championship.)
Here is a look at the roster the U.S. federation is bringing to Turkey in the hopes of winning the gold medal for the first time since Reggie Miller, Joe Dumars, Dominique Wilkins, Mark Price, Shawn Kemp, Derrick Coleman and Larry Johnson were among the primary players.